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11/22/2003 Archived Entry: "Iraqi bloggers"

The blog of libertarian humorist Dave Barry is a hoot! His material appeals *so* directly to my sense of the "real" world as absurd, surreal, and unpredictable... For example, he links to an article under the titled "Modern Funerals" with the intro of: "Whose cell phone is ringing?" "Not mine!" "Not mine either!" "Ohmigod, you don't suppose...." Also, my thanks to Lee K. for forwarding a photo from a Socialist Worker protest that seems to cast Bush as a Social Worker. Lee's right; its funny.

The Nov. 22nd entry for Riverbend -- a "Girl Blog from Iraq" -- comments on yesterday's attacks on hotels that were facilitated by donkeys conveying rocket launchers in their carts. She writes...

"Donkeys and Guerillas...Ok, todays blog is going to look like something straight out of The Onion...
Baghdad, Iraq- At around a quarter past 7 this morning, residents in downtown Baghdad awoke to the sound of explosions. Many inhabitants claimed that they assumed the sounds were the result of Operation Iron Hammer- the latest military tactic designed to send a message to Iraqi insurgents. Upon turning on their televisions, Baghdadis realized that two prominent hotels and the Ministry of Oil had recently been attacked. The two hotels assailed with missiles were the Sheraton and Palestine Hotel, both situated in a busy, commercial locale in the Iraqi capital. The hotels are home to the reporters and journalists of many major news networks, including the CNN, as well as foreign contractors. While there seem to be no casualties in either of the hotels, or the Ministry, witnesses confirmed there were injuries. The assailants? Donkeys. Yes, donkeys were found in various locations in Baghdad, leading colorful carts with missile launchers and missiles camouflaged with hay. The donkeys, looking guilty and morose, were promptly taken into custody for questioning and were not available for a statement....Could this be the first real tie to Al-Qaeda? After months of trying to connect Iraq to terrorist activities, this latest attack could prove to be the Pentagon's 'missing link' . After all, donkeys and mules are very widely used in Afghanistan to travel through the rocky, mountainous region- their presence in Baghdad is highly suspicious. It is, as yet, unclear whether the donkeys are foreign guerillas who crossed into Iraq from one of the neighboring countries, or are actually a part of a local Al-Qaeda cell. Baghdad residents are wondering: could these culprits be the first donkeys sent to Guantanamo?"

Much has been written about the Iraqi blogger phenomenon, especially about the better known blogs:
--Where is Raed?; for background on this site, see Wired.
--Healing Iraq, which tends to be a gentler, kinder blog
--The Mesopotamian
--Soldier's Paradise, an American soldier's POV
CAVEAT: Blogs express no more than the personal opinions and observations of individuals, and contain no guarantee of accuracy. Also, be careful to avoid bogus blogs by approaching all new ones with healthy skepticism. For example, Riversbend has been set up by an American in what appears to be an attempt to confuse readers and discredit the genuine Riverbend -- (no "s"). The photo you see on the right-hand side is not of the site owner/author, as you might naturally assume, but has been taken from some other site without permission. About three weeks ago, my photo -- ripped off from the Independent Institute site -- appeared on Riversbend until II changed the connecting URL at my request. Perhaps aware of my vigorous objection, the fellow has not used my identity again.

My unofficial co-blogger, Gordon P., writes in an email with the subject line, "Is Iran Next?":

Another pair of items from "El Rushbo" suggestive of an attempt to construct a "causus belli" for The U.S. to invade Iran next:
1.) Mansoor Ijaz rang up "Fox and Friends" from London Thursday morning to claim that Bin Laden and two other high-level Al Qaeda figures are currently hiding in Western Iran, having been smuggled out of Afghanistan "by the Republican Guard," ["El Rushbo" claims he _doesn't_ believe this story (he says he thinks Bin Laden was "vaporized" by a "Bunker Buster" in Afghanistan) --- but it didn't stop him from re-playing excerpts from the Fox interview...] See also a _CS Monitor_ article making a similar claim.
2.) The U.S. is accusing Iran of "brazenly and systematically" pursuing nuclear weapons --- and unlike with Iraq, _this_ time, IAEA officials appear to be supporting the U.S.'s accusations (perhaps out of fear that if they don't, they will appear impotent and irrelevant...)The U.S. is demanding that Iran to be declared in non-compliance" with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the issue brought before the UN Security Council; Britain, France, Germany, and other nations are again opposing this U.S. demand, fearing Tehran will pull out of the NPT. The IAEA meeting remained deadlocked for two days, and has adjourned until next Wednesday to allow the issue to "be discussed by home governments in their capitals"...

[Hmmm... Scary Thought: I wonder if perhaps Bush might be floating hints that the U.S. troops will "leave Iraq in June" because he is planning to "move them out" via _Tehran_ ??? Now wouldn't _that_ be a nasty kettle of eels !!! 8-[

As a PS to Gordon's blogging, Pat Oliphant has a good cartoon on Rush entitled "Which is the Worst Addiction"?

Best to all,

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